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Upgrade advice required

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February 9, 2010 9:50:05 AM

Hi everyone just finish reinstall on HTPC now to upgrade my PC......

Current PC running XP sp2 with dual 17ins's
Asus A8n-SLI Premium (socket 939, 4xDIMM 184pin DDR400 4GB max)
x2 3800+ , 1GB ram xms
Radeon X800 GTO (256MB DDR3)
Athlon 64 X2 3800+
Scythe SCNJ-1000 Ninja heatsink
Seasonic ss-600HT (S12)
Antec P180

I never got round to overclocking the above system (which was the original plan after the build) and have now left it too long for it to be worth spending money upgrading. As you can see I have been happily running this spec till now so don’t need high end kick ass stuff. Used for surfing, games and general stuff.

I have been out of the PC building/meddling scene for a few years so all advice welcome.

I am assuming my Seasonic and P180 are still within spec for another build. Can anyone confirm this? All parts are in good condition with medium to low usage for the last few years.

Also does anyone have any idea if the (socket 939) ninja will go onto an AM3. I will try looking for the fixing pack later. X800 will go in my HTPC and A8n-sli and x3800 eBay.

Looking at spending about 300 UKP so about 500 USD (although remember we don’t get US online prices over here in the uk :(  , probably +20% at a guess).

after a quick search and a few reviews
phenom 2 x2 550 or athlon x4 620 (70UKP ish) no idea if more cores of clock speed is better
Radeon 5750 (100 UKP ish)
4GB DDR3 (1333mhz) crucial / corsair etc (80 UKP)
ASUS M4A77TD PRO/U3S6 (75 UKP) Always used asus and never had a problem
Windows 7 64 bit (75 UKP)

Went with AM3/DDR3 instead of intel since it was suggested longevity of platform better and can hopefully upgrade in the future.
I understand the 5XXX radeons have new features but lower performance that 4XXX. is it worth it?
I am considering waiting for a AM3 DDR3 asus board with onboard U3S6?
Have avoided upgrading to vista and 7 so far. do I finally have to upgrade from XP???

I have multiple sata150 5400rpm drives (new and used) is it worth using these (conventional or in raid) for the OS? Or should I stump up for a F3 etc

Cheers for the input
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2010 11:49:10 AM

You can reuse the PSU and case.

CPU: It depends on what you're doing. I wouldn't get a dual core, but you could look into triple cores. Those are cheaper, but still good for gaming. I tend to gravitate towards quads though.

GPU: Bump that up to the HD 5770. It's only a marginal increase, but the performance is a lot better. As for the 4xxx vs. 5xxx debate, at the same price, the 5xxxs are a little light on performance. However, they're low power consumption, quiet operation, and future proofing are definitely worth it.

Mobo: You can always by a USB 3/SATA III add on card later. Or get a Gigabyte that already has it.

OS: Yes. 7 is everything Vista was supposed to be and more.

HDD: You should go ahead and get a F3. Not only is 5400 RPM really slow, the new drives with 500 GB platters are super fast. I'm also not a fan of RAID, as it increases the total failure rate, and the drives are older, so it's even more likely to fail.
February 9, 2010 11:52:13 AM

good build, if you really arent into gaming that much, then you might want to consider an i3. it depends for the core vs clocks question...if you are doing simple internet usage, and some gaming, then faster clock, and if you are doing multi tasking, and slightly more complex tasks, then i would go with a quad core. the i3 has hyper threading, so it is technically a quad core, but it converts to different cores based on your usage, and it has the clock of a dual core, and it oc's like crazy, due to the fact its 32 nm. the 5750 is getting to the point where it cant easily game on some more modern games, but if you are just casual you should be good. make sure the ram is below 1.65 volts, and preferably has timings of 7-7-7, 8-8-8, or something in between like 7-8-7.for the mobo if you go with amd, i would get this new asus, it is 785g, and has U3S6, and obviously its an asus. even though you cant buy, there it is:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

about the hdds, i would just buy the f3, its so cheap and so well performing that its worth it...hope this helped :) 
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2010 12:04:31 PM

No, TECHNICALLY the i3 is a dual core with HT. HT does not add cores. It's not as powerful as the X4's at the same price. Unless you're building an HTPC or super lower power consumption, low computuation computer, you shouldn't use the i3s.

Besides, they're $50 more expensive than the X4 620, and you'll likely spend another $50 on the board for them.

Forgot to mention in my first post that if you're planning to overclock, you should get 1600 mhz RAM with CL 7 preferable.
February 9, 2010 12:13:15 PM

regarding the 785g board, I read somewhere that the 780 (and therefore i assume the 785) were not very good for overclocking and if i wanted oc options would be better with either 770 on a budget or 790X or GX.

Is there any disadvantage in buying a motherboard with onboard graphics if i am going to add a graphics card. Apart from the waste of silicon?
February 9, 2010 12:25:23 PM

but TECHNICALLY, the i3 is a dual core with 2 real, and 2 virtual core, making it a virtual quad core. also, from what i see on a lot of benchmarks, the i3 is the same, if not better:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=118&p2=10...

http://www.goldfries.com/hardware-reviews/amd-athlon-ii...

the i3 mobos are the exact same price, even cheaper, and the i3 530 only cost 20$ more, so i dont see where you are getting the 100$ more from, maybe 20, but not 100. also, the i3 uses less energy, oc's way better, and is 32nm. and yeah you are right, if you plan to oc get 1600 MHz ram
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2010 12:27:54 PM

I'm not an expert on overclocking, so I can't really answer the mobo question. I typically recommend the Asus M4A79XTD EVO because it's a great board and pretty cheap.

As for the onboard graphics, there aren't any disadvantages, depending on the board. Some boards with onboard graphics will only have 1 PCIe 2.0 slot, which means you can't Crossfire. If anything, there is a slight advantage as you can add a very low powered card that matches the board and use it as if it were in Crossfire with the onboard.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2010 12:30:41 PM

i3-530: $125. X4 620: $99. So I embelished a little. And the good boards are more expensive. The total of the CPU's price difference and the mobo's make it closer to $100.

Still, the other X4's around the $125 price out perform the i3.
February 9, 2010 1:03:51 PM

im not necessarily saying to get it, i was simply throwing the idea out there...i know that the x4 925 will probably out perform it for the same price, and that 790gx has onboard better than 4500hd, and that am3 is more future proof, but he was just saying something about htpc, which it is good for...
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
February 9, 2010 1:20:16 PM

The way I read it is that his current, older PC is becoming the HTPC, and the new stuff is for a main build...
February 9, 2010 1:29:10 PM

idk you might be right, but i cant really tell...
February 10, 2010 8:02:06 AM

sorry for the confusion guys. Also have a seperate HTPC. Was just considering putting the old graphics card from my current pc into it.
!